- Associated Press - Sunday, May 25, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The foundation behind Alexandria Charter Academy plans to appeal to the state after being denied a charter from the Rapides Parish School Board.

Foundation board chairman Tim Temple tells The Town Talk (https://townta.lk/1pmPo9U) the group will pursue a Type 2 charter school, which is authorized by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Louisiana Charter Foundation Board, in partnership with Charter Schools USA, submitted an application in March to the Rapides Parish School Board for a Type 1 public charter school, which must be authorized by the local school district.

The school board denied the application on Tuesday.

Rapides schools Superintendent Nason “Tony” Authement says he will oppose the state charter application.

He opposed the Type 1 application at the School Board meeting after meeting with foundation board members, CSUSA representatives and Kimberly Williams, a third-party consultant the School Board hired to review the charter application.

Authement said a charter school is not needed in Rapides as the district offers school choice. He added that struggling schools are receiving extra support through turnaround teams.

He said the applicants hadn’t “done their homework” on the district, referring to a turnaround plan implemented by Authement and his administration this year to help schools improve their state performance scores.

“What we’re doing to turn the district around is adequate,” he said. “We just don’t see where a charter school will help us meet our organizational goals. Students do have choices here … and parents, of course.”

Temple said the concerns from Authement and others are unfounded.

“As a board, our goal is to bring a new high-quality public charter school option to Rapides Parish and to give parents and students a choice in their education. … Not every school is right for every child, and we want to empower parents by providing educational options and allow them to decide what is best for their children,” Temple said.


Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, https://www.thetowntalk.com

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